|The Stolen Lion|
|Air date||Sept. 26, 1984|
|Based on Golion episode||Stolen Blue Lion|
|Written by||Jameson Brewer|
|Directed by||Fraklin Cofod|
|Story by||Susumu Takahisa|
The Stolen Lion is the eighth episode of the lion series of Voltron: Defender of the Universe.
Princess Allura is undergoing rigorous training in her Lion, fighting with Lance's Lion as if it's a real battle. After taking a hard hit from one of his assaults, the Blue Lion plummets toward earth in a tail spin. She is saved, not by any of the VF rushing to aid her in their Lions, but by the tractor beams from a ship piloted by a mysterious stranger.
After Allura regains consciousness, the stranger introduces himself as Prince Bokar of Senak and states that he has been traveling the galaxy in search of a beautiful princess to be his royal bride. Princess Allura is a bit skeptical at first, but Bokar's charm wins her over so resoundingly that she is blushing eighteen seconds thereafter. Lance is not nearly so impressed, however, and after voicing his disbelief in Bokar's story he engages the latter in a fistfight. Lance loses this melee, and the rest of the Voltron Force find it necessary to insist that Bokar not finish him off. Nevertheless, Princess Allura, Coran, and Nanny welcome Prince Bokar to stay at the Castle of Lions for as long as he wishes.
That evening, a banquet is held in honour of Prince Bokar's heroically saving the life of Princess Allura. It is fairly uneventful save for a brief exchange between Pidge and Nanny (the outcome of which suggests that the Green Lion pilot really does care for some of the latter's cooking despite his snide remarks) and some of the Space Mice sneaking by a conversation-absorbed Princess Allura to grab several small pieces of meat (Nanny chases them out of the banquet hall and is tripped by Lance, whose posture she harshly critiqued earlier in the meal). However, when the mice return they draw Allura's attention to a strange blue cat visible through the skylight (though not recognized as the one who led Sven to his extended hospitalization)....
That night is quite eventful indeed. First, a scene on Planet Doom reveals that Bokar is a con artist, specially trained and sent by the Witch Haggar to bring back Voltron's Blue Lion and the Princess with it! Second, after the guests have retired to their dormitories, a swarm of cobrae slither through the castle's air ducts to land upon his greatest threat: the suspicious-yet-sleeping Lance! Fortunately, Lance awakens instantaneously and grabs the dagger he keeps beneath his bed for just such an occasion, slicing the snakes whilst calling for help. When Keith, Pidge, and Hunk arrive with their own daggers, they are attacked as well. However, Bokar is the last to arrive and remains unassailed, casting further suspicion upon him.
As the first rays of dawn blaze forth over the Arusian horizon, an urgent meeting is called in the castle command center. Bokar insists that the Voltron Force has no proof that he was behind the ophidian assault, Keith states that they nevertheless have strong suspicion of it, yet Princess Allura and Coran surprise them all by announcing that they believe Bokar would be an excellent candidate to join the Voltron Force! Coran and Allura have agreed that it is not appropriate for the Princess to pilot the Blue Lion, and thus the latter asks Bokar to accept her key. He eagerly does so, but at that point Lance notices an unusual bulge in his right arm and fires his laser at it....
Out of Bokar's sleeve bursts another cobra! Nanny faints, Bokar flings a few more such serpents which Keith and the other men of the VF fight off using martial arts, then the cruel pretender grabs Princess Allura and threatens her at cobra-fang point, causing her to follow Nanny's example. Using the comatose Allura as a hostage, Bokar demands access to the Blue Lion's boarding chute so that he might take the Lion and the Princess back to King Zarkon, and Coran has no choice but to comply. The Voltron Force swiftly move to pursue; they are having considerable trouble dealing with this cobra commander, yet now they know his plan, and knowing is half the battle.
Meanwhile, 'Prince' Bokar has shackled the still-unconscious Princess Allura and brought her to the Blue Lion, yet he is having difficulty launching the feline fighter. Allura awakens to a vision of King Alfor on the viewscreen, who warns Bokar and reassures her.
Instead of heeding the warning, Bokar smacks the Space Mouse who stowed away with Allura against the wall and pulls the Princess to her feet. He then shoves her up against the Blue Lion's control panel and demands that she fly it for him (Commander Yurak, his flagship, and a Doom Blaster fighter escort await him in orbit). Princess Allura initially is recalcitrant - for the rest of the Voltron Force now surrounds the Blue Lion in the lake - but then Keith video-calls her and instructs her to obey the hijacker's instructions. Allura agrees, ready to take yet another one for the team.
Yurak descends into the planet's atmosphere to recover the Blue Lion, but the Red Lion is hot on its fellow's tail. Lance reports that the Blue is in his sights, but laments that Bokar is not leaving them much by way of options. He flies alongside it, at which point Bokar orders the Princess to fire. Princess Allura lets fly a volley of missiles from her dorsal launcher, yet fortunately she is not yet capable of hitting the broad side of Red Lion and Lance deftly outmanoeuvres them, returning fire by tossing his mouth dagger at the Blue Lion (as this brought her down so effectively the previous day). Though the Princess is badly shaken (yet not shocked) by the attack, she swiftly tries to restabilize her craft, even as her chain clinks quite audibly.
Bokar is pushed to the breaking point and does what any man of his breeding would: turn into a humanoid snake-monster. The sight of him causes the sensitive Princess Allura to faint dead away and conveniently collapse onto the ejector switch, jettisoning Bokar into the stratosphere. More fortunate still, the other four Lions swoop down and each grab hold of one of the Blue Lion's legs to stabilize it in midair.
Meanwhile, Yurak realizes that his days are numbered if he doesn't stop Voltron fairly soon and fires a magnification ray to increase the free-falling Bokar's size to a highly-colossal level. Fortunately Allura has somehow regained consciousness and changed costume within this period of time, and thus the team is ready to FORM VOLTRON!
The interlocks are activated, dynatherms connected, infracells turned to their full upright position, and megathrusters thrust at a satisfactorily-colourful level, and thus a fully-formed Voltron enters the fray.
The snake/charmer, who in his upgrade gained a scythe that would be the envy of the Grim Reaper, appears quite confident and rather pleased at this turn of world events. He issues a challenge to the the colossal colourful crusader as though he were still in the human form of the Prince of Senak, and in the duel which follows holds his own quite effectively. He shrugs off the flamethrower attacks of Voltron's arms and dodges the spinning laser blade. Voltron resorts to its most powerful ranged attack - the Electro-Force Cross - to destroy the blade of Bokar's colossal scythe, but it is also an energy weapon of sorts and re-materializes said blade instantaneously!
Voltron is not about to be out-done in the field of giant formable melee weapons and follows suit with the Blazing Sword, yet as the two lock in combat and Pidge complains that he is being all shaken up, Bokar's scythe seems a match even for it!
Desperately, Voltron pulls back and swiftly follows-up with Red Lion's flame breath at point-blank range, which Bokar catches right in the mouth. This sends the mountain-sized snake reeling and gives Voltron the opportunity to deal the 'prince' a most palpable hit with the Blazing Sword; the latter is destroyed.
Later that day, Princess Allura is seated on her throne beneath the Arms of the Arusian Royal Family when she is admonished by Lance about being taken in by the appearance of Bokar. Allura receives this gracefully, yet the wistful look in her eye suggests that she still longs for a man to sweep her off her feet, and her tongue betrays this.
"This guy fights like a space pirate. I'll never trust him!"
— Lance shares his overall impression of Prince Bokar
Princess Allura: "Poor little things. This just isn't your day, is it? First it was Nanny, now it's that strange cat! But don't worry; I'll look after you."
Prince Bokar: "Princess Allura, only you would try to protect mice from a cat!"
Princess Allura: "I would certainly try!"
Lance: "Yeah! And if you want to protect the royal silverware, put a double-lock on it while this faker's in the castle!"
"All that you do, you do in vain, for the power of Voltron you shall not gain."
— King Alfor, who was dispensing wisdom in rhyme before even The Legend of Zelda's Triforce
"At last, Voltron, we meet as equals. You think you are invincible, but I will show you who is supreme."
— Prince(?) Bokar, proving himself eloquent even as a giant bipedal scythe-wielding cobra
Lance: "Well, Princess Allura, everything came out alright. It's a good thing some of us aren't taken in by a handsome face, like Nanny here!"
Allura *laughs in a genteel manner*: "Yes; you're as bad as I am, Nanny! We're two of a kind, Coran. Watch me carefully, so that it will never happen again...." *rises* "...unless I want it to!"
Differences from the Original Beast King GoLion Material
- Bokar's name was Bambara, and his story was that he had come from the Planet Orion (perhaps located on Orion's Belt?), an ally of Arus/Altea under Allura's father, for the specific purpose of protecting the Princess.
- Allura/Fala's skeptical reaction originally had an entirely different meaning: Bambara had just scolded her for acting beneath her station by "play(ing) war with common men." He swiftly wins her over, however (to the point of causing her to blush), with his statement that that which defines a man is his gentleness toward women.
- The suggestion that the stranger should be the new pilot of Blue Lion occurred even earlier in the original. Coran/Raible extends the offer just after Bambara's brawl with Lance/Kurogane, and in response the latter bitterly states that he is against the thought of going into battle alongside the newcomer, adding that he is sure that Fala could become sufficiently skilled with proper training. The Princess herself disagrees, however, replying "No, compared to me, he would far better draw out Golion's power." Fala then asks Keith/Kogane his thoughts, and he replies politely-but-truthfully that Bambara would be better than her. Kurogane protests again, yet on behalf of her late father King Raimon Princess Fala insists.
- The celebratory feast in Bambara's honour originally was depicted as being centered more around him. While Nanny/Hys fawns over him, Pidge/Suzuishi accuses her of playing favourites. Fala's conversation is entirely about Bambara, as is that of Bambara himself, which causes him to be less charming than he would become in the Voltron: Defender of the Universe version.
- Kurogane originally did not possess his Western counterpart's gift for detecting falsehoods and seeing through the evil schemes of the enemy; he blames the late-night cobra attack on Raible, who had tested them with combat in the past!
- Likewise, Raible lacked the tactical instincts (despite being a military strategist) that Coran possesses (despite being a diplomat); realizing that something evil is responsible for the serpentine siege of the Castle of Lions/Castle Gradam, his first response is to order Bambara outside to train in the Blue Lion (thus aiding and abetting the stealing of said lion)!
Notes and Goofs
- When Prince Bokar introduces himself, Coran's lips are moving as though the lines were his.
- The Voltron-formation sequence stock footage would suggest that Princess Allura was able to regain consciousness, (presumably) be freed of her shackles, and don her flight suit in a matter of seconds.
- Standing at an impressive 265 ft. while weighing 3,960 short tons, Bokar's final form is the largest (though not the heaviest) daikaiju or robeast encountered thus far, and the tenth largest encountered over the course of the series (including Fleet of Doom).
- This is the first episode in which a robeast speaks.